‘Tis the season when those of us who like to combine the activity pioneered by traditional sports with next generation esports; the 2017 Spring Split Fantasy League Championship Series is upon us. Last split, I provided you with both the “Start ‘em Sit ‘em” and “Winners and Losers” series of articles, and this split is going to be no different, other than perhaps a couple of added surprises in between.
There are plenty of draft guides out there that will tell you to take Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg, Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen, or the other usual first round guys, and to be honest, my draft guide would be no different. So, I decided to skip past the draft to the point where you look at your roster and you realize how much work you have to do to not finish last and be ridiculed by your friends or colleagues. Each week, there are going to be tough decisions on which players to put in your lineup and which to leave back at home, so I’m going to try and help you with that in the first week of Start ‘em Sit ‘em.
Hai “Hai” Du Lam – FlyQuest – Mid lane
Alex “Xpecial” Chu – Dignitas – Support
With week one, it is very difficult to make decisions, especially in League of Legends, where roster changes are abundant. This past offseason has been a busy one with a lot of teams going through complete makeovers. With that being said, the best thing you can do is bet on experience, which is what I’m going to do for the first two picks of this start ‘em list. Hai and Xpecial both come into the 2017 Spring Split with a ton of experience and week one matchups that see FlyQuest play Team EnVyUs and Team Liquid, and Xpecial’s Dignitas play Phoenix1 and Cloud9, which seem favorable for these experienced veterans.
Andy “Smoothie” Ta – Cloud9 – Support
Smoothie made some waves towards the end of the last split on Cloud9. However, contrary to Hai and Xpecial, Smoothie does not have the same amount of experience, but he does have some serious potential to be successful and produce strong points for his owners. It’s hard for me to sell you on him without too many stats to back it up, so you will have to just go with my word, or your own gut, on this one.
Sin “Nuclear” Jeong-hyeon – H2k-Gaming – AD Carry
Nuclear, one of H2k-Gaming’s Korean imports, will be playing AD Carry for his first season in the European League Championship Series. H2k has a very favorable matchup against Origen, and when I first began to look at which players to put on this list, one thing that was holding me back from Nuclear was his import status and the potential language barrier. However, his support, Choi “Chei” Sun-ho, is also from South Korea, so there is serious potential for those two to have strong chemistry, which could lead to strong success in the bottom lane and in week one overall for Nuclear.
Apollo “Apollo” Price – Team EnVyUs – AD Carry
Apollo will begin this season as the AD Carry in the nV bot lane, and if you are being wise about your lineup in week one, he will also be on your bench. Apollo has two tough matchups against some very strong bottom lanes, in Counter Logic Gaming and FlyQuest. To add onto this, Apollo struggled to produce many fantasy points last season and I just do not see this split being any different for him. If you have Apollo, I think opportunities will show themselves later in the season, perhaps even in a week with lighter matches. However, with the experience of FlyQuest and CLG, it’s hard to see Apollo producing a ton of points this week. Honestly, I think there are a lot of better options at AD Carry for week one, and really the rest of the season.
Nubar “Maxlore” Sarafian – Team ROCCAT – Jungle
Only two teams in the EU LCS will play two matches in their first week; one of them is H2k and the other is G2. G2 will play Team ROCCAT in their second match of the season, two days after they are due to play arguably one of the best teams in EU, Fnatic. G2 will have the advantage of playing and gaining some experience to take into the match versus ROCCAT.
Additionally, Maxlore will be jungling against one of the best fantasy junglers in the business, Kim “Trick” Gang-yun, on the other side of Summoner’s Rift. Those two factors, combined with how well G2 played last split and their lack of any roster changes, means G2 will be coming out of the gates hot, while ROCCAT retained only their mid laner from the previous split. This is a tough matchup for Maxlore, which means you should definitely consider keeping him on the bench for week one.
Usually I like to include four players on both sides of the start ‘em sit ‘em, but with a clean slate and a heap of roster changes, it’s hard to judge who is going to do what, and I don’t want to give out any tips I myself am not entirely confident with. So take this week with a grain of salt, and remember, the first week does not mean too much in the grand scheme of things. If your team is cold now, maybe they will heat up come crunch time. Good luck.
Who are you starting and sitting this week in Fantasy LCS? Let us know by commenting below or tweeting us @GAMURScom.
All images graciously provided by Riot Games via their official Flickr Page.